Archives for June 2018

June 26, 2018

Comfort & Joy!

It’s not Christmas, but it sure feels like it!  If there ever could be a positive reason associated to treating RA, it’s that you try many products in an effort to find ones that will accommodate your condition.  I hit the mother load approximately 5 weeks ago, shoes I had thoroughly researched and ordered, had arrived. Purchasing footwear has been a dilemma because of the RA flares I experience in my feet.  The flares are not constant but regularly affect how I walk and feel when they are present.  There are only a few pair of shoes that I am able to wear during a flare.  So with great enthusiasm I wore my new shoes for the last 5 weeks nonstop.  Here is my experience with these two pairs of shoes that were absolutely comfortable on good days and not so good days.

allbirds Wool Lounger

They look like something Grandpa Puchalski wore in the house, they look like slippers!  What sets them apart from slippers is that they are made of soft merino wool, breathable, supportive, and wonderfully functional and comfortable.  I wore these shoes with and without socks, and washed (in a machine as advised) them after wearing them for three weeks usually without socks.  Normally, the shoe naturally wicks moisture away, yet was unable to handle the Coke Zero I dropped on them.  I believe the Lounger shoe looked neat with jeans and a summer t-shirt dress.  The shoe conforms to your foot shape, and did not cause any friction during flares.  They don’t come in many colors, but if you look online they have seasonal colors in addition to the gray and black regular choices.  A comfy choice at $95 a pair with no shipping fee.  The return policy is 30 days.

tieks by Gavrieli Ballet Flats

Similar to the allbirds Lounger, the tieks Ballet Flats conform/mold to your feet making them equally comfortable.  There are so many colors to choose from, I chose the Pacific Green, not really a good summer color, but great with jeans.  The flat has a split, non-skid, outer sole and a flexible midsole which allows the shoe to fold.  I was ecstatic for another pair of shoes that required no break in period that I wore for hours the first time out.  I attribute the comfort level to the soft leather and cushioned back.  I probably will not buy other flats after my experience with these.  They are neat and tidy looking and the only negative that I can think of is the price.  At $175, I thought they were on the high side but will reserve final judgement until their demise.  They may seem as if they are an extravagance, but when comfort is fleeting in most shoes, I had to give it a go and have no regrets.  Hopefully they will last beyond my formative years.   

Have a great week and I’ll continue to be on the lookout for comfort and joy!

June 19, 2018

Minimizing Chronic Pain In The Summer Heat!

The heat can exacerbate pain symptoms during the summer months.  For me, the summer has always represented a non-routine time of the year that I savored, until the RA diagnosis.  Hot weather has changed so many of my healthy routines.  I’ve chronicled a pain/weather journal for a few years, and I am traveling head on into summer with strategies to minimize discomfort during the hot summer months.  I’ll share what I intend to do this summer in order to achieve a comfortable and enjoyable summer.

I’ll be scheduling outdoor activities in the early morning or evening to avoid times when the sun is at its strongest intensity.

I’ll not only continue to follow a healthful diet, and eat all the fruits rich in anti-oxidants and inflammation fighting ingredients, looking forward to the peaches and local berries.  I definitely will include cherries in many of my newly acquired recipes due to their pain fighting and inflammation reducing compounds.  Lastly, I will make sure I stay hydrated in the summer when my body requires a higher water intake.

I’ll put to good use all the comfortable footwear and breathable clothing I’ve been purchasing. The proper footwear will hopefully reduce pain due to inflammation from temperature fluctuations, and the breathable clothing will be comfortable and make me feel snazzy in the humid weather.

Finally, I’ll slow down and minimize my exposure to sun and heat while doing daily chores, such as shopping, socializing, and doctor’s appointments.  

In a nutshell, the summer temperatures can be a challenge for everyone, but for people treating for rheumatoid arthritis it can have a detrimental effect on your pain level.  Consideration should also be taken to the drug interactions of ones medication and sun exposure.

Have a great week and here is one of the first signs of summer in my neighborhood!

June 5, 2018

Not Everyday Is A Picnic With RA!

Early on when I was initially diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I not so graciously decided to will it away, no such luck.  My next attempt at accepting this diagnosis was to live it with style and flare.  I’ve worked real hard trying to maintain a positive attitude and I am usually successful.   At times I even surprise myself when the effects of rheumatoid arthritis have enhanced my standard of living.   Yet, after two hot and humid days, and a Monday filled with rain, and torrential downpours, my Pollyanna attitude eluded me.  

On this rainy day Monday I searched online for places I could relocate too that would be most conducive to living with this chronic condition.  There are many individuals that move to areas that are warm and dry, others move south or west. I searched for hours, not impressed with any one area, and moved on to read medical information regarding rheumatoid arthritis.  To my surprise I came upon an article examining best places to live with rheumatoid arthritis.  In a nutshell, many individuals that treat for RA, including myself are affected by low barometric pressure before a storm, causing uncomfortable pressure in ones joints.  The article went on to explain that living in a warm climate, individuals actually will experience greater discomfort when weather changes.   If you live in an area that experiences frequent barometric changes, such as the New England states, your inflammation is lesser than individuals living in states that have fewer barometric changes. Individuals that normally live in a dry or warm area are more affected by weather changes since they are not accustomed to changes.

So today was not such a good day, and I am not suffering in silence, I shared/vented my frustrations with this miserable condition.  Self-care was my number one priority today, and I am feeling my Pollyanna attitude returning.  I’m refreshed, with renewed energy and ready to take on any new experiences, maybe even predicting weather in a circus side-show!  Have a great week and hopefully the weather will moderate!